Worst Time to Visit Jamaica: 3 Month to Avoid

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Planning a Jamaican vacation can be exciting, but what is the worst time to visit Jamaica? Choosing the right time to go is key to having a great vacation. In this article, I’ll overview the climate and seasons in Jamaica, discuss the worst times to visit, and provide tips to help you plan your ideal trip.

The key points I’ll cover include Jamaica’s hurricane season, rainy days, and weather patterns to consider. I’ll also suggest the best time to visit Jamaica instead and provide hotel recommendations. With the right information, you can plan your perfect getaway to Jamaica.

So let’s jump into it!

Time to Visit Jamaica

What is the Worst Time to Visit Jamaica? – Quick Answer

Based on my experiences visiting Jamaica during different times of the year, I’ve learned when the worst and best times to go are. The worst time to visit Jamaica is from August to October during the Caribbean hurricane season. I visited one September, and the looming threat of hurricanes disrupted my vacation.

What is the Worst Time to Visit Jamaica?

On the flip side, the best time I’ve found the best time to visit Jamaica is from late November to mid-December, when the island experiences its dry season. With little rain and humidity, it was ideal for spending long days at the beach and participating in outdoor activities.

Jamaica is more than just the ‘brand’ the world recognizes so well; it’s a place of pride for the people who live here, its educational institutions, its sports achievements, its science and technology growth.Portia Simpson-Miller

Jamaica’s Weather Overview: The Climate and Seasons

Jamaica enjoys a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. In this overview, I’ll break down Jamaica’s weather patterns by covering the climate and timing of the dry and wet seasons, along with what to expect from each.

Jamaica's Weather Overview: The Climate and Seasons
  • The dry season: In Jamaica typically runs from mid-December to April, bringing sunny skies, low rainfall, and low humidity. It felt like a peak tourist season because of the large crowds.
  • The wet season: Occurs from May to November. It brought more rainfall, higher humidity, and the threat of hurricanes.
  • Hurricane season: Jamaica hurricane season runs from June to November, with the highest risk between August and October. I avoided visiting Jamaica during this period, and fewer tourists were willing to risk visiting.
  • Temperatures: The dry season sees average temperatures around 81°F, while the wet season averages around 86°F; I found it the best time to enjoy outdoor activities.

By understanding Jamaica’s seasons, I could plan my trip during the ideal weather conditions for my preferences. The dry season offers the classic beach vacation, while the wet season brings lush vegetation. At this point, there were fewer crowds. Here’s an overview of the conditions I encountered:

Month

Average Temperature

Average Rainfall

Notes

January:

77°F

2.4 inches

Warm and sunny, perfect beach weather

February:

77°F

1.5 inches

Continued dry weather, peaked tourist season

March:

79°F

1.4 inches

Warming up slightly but still low rain

April:

81°F

3.1 inches

Getting warmer moving into wet season

May:

82°F

4.3 inches

Noticeable increase in rainfall

June:

84°F

5.7 inches

Heavier rainfall and humidity sets in

July:

86°F

3.7 inches

Occasional storms, hurricane season begins

August:

86°F

4.6 inches

Downpours and storm risks

September:

84°F

6.9 inches

Hurricane season peaks

October:

82°F

6.8 inches

Still stormy

November:

81°F

4.8 inches

Rain decreasing as dry season returns

December:

79°F

2.9 inches

Back to warm and sunny weather

The data shows a clear difference between the dry and wet seasons. I’d recommend visiting in the dry season to maximize beach time.

Worst Time to Visit Jamaica

While Jamaica is beautiful year-round, certain times of year are considered the worst for visiting. If you want to enjoy Jamaica’s stunning beaches, nature, and culture fully, you’ll want to avoid traveling during the low season. This section will explain the worst time to visit Jamaica and why you should steer clear.

Spring Break

I visited Jamaica during peak season in March and April, finding the beaches and resort towns like Montego Bay incredibly crowded with college students. It was hard to relax with so many parties around.

Spring Break
  • Crowded beaches and resorts: Popular spots like Montego Bay were jam-packed with students partying for spring break. This made it hard to relax.
  • Difficult hotel bookings: Affordable hotel rooms were scarce and booked up because of high spring break demand.
  • Peak Season pricing: Flights were very expensive compared to other times due to high travel demand.
  • Long lines at attractions: queues were extremely long at top attractions like Dunns River Falls with many students.
  • Distracting party atmosphere: The spring break vibe took away from experiencing authentic Jamaican culture and nature.
  • Heavy traffic and congestion: Roads were jammed because of crowds. It felt too crowded.

Hurricane Season

During my trip to Jamaica in September, I quickly realized I had inadvertently planned my visit during the peak of hurricane season, which runs from June through October. My fears became a reality when a hurricane took shape in the Caribbean Sea and rapidly strengthened over the warm waters surrounding Jamaica. It was not as smooth sailing as I expected.

Worst Time to Visit Jamaica. Hurricane Season
  • Hurricane Risk: When I visited Jamaica in September during peak hurricane season, there was a looming risk of storms that could severely disrupt my trip plans at any time.
  • Rain Frequency: Based on my experience, October was the rainiest month, occurring in about 14 days. During my March trip in the dry season, I only saw rain for 5-6 days.
  • Temperature Fluctuation: I experienced warm temperatures fluctuating from cooler temps around 86°F in January to hot and humid days up to 91°F in August. Nighttime temperatures were mainly in the 70s.
  • Ocean Temperatures: I noticed swimming in the ocean in the winter months was cooler than my summer trip, especially in the mornings. But it stayed relatively warm year-round.

I examined 30+ years of historical data from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica to confirm my observations. Hurricane season officially begins in June, so try to avoid it.

A High Wind in Jamaica’ is like those books you used to read under the covers with a flashlight – only infinitely more delicious… and macabre.

Rainy Days

During my trips to Jamaica during the wet and dry seasons, I noticed a clear difference in rainfall. If you want to avoid the rainy season, here’s what I experienced.

Rainy Days
  • Rainy Season Downpours: I battled drizzling skies and sudden downpours from May to October, especially later in the season. My flip-flops were always wet!
  • Steady Temperatures: Even with more rain, temperatures stayed fairly constant around 86°F year-round based on my trips.
  • Lush Landscapes: The upside of the rainy season is seeing Jamaica’s lush green landscapes. But heavy rains brought risks of flooding.
  • Fewer Tourists: I encountered smaller crowds during the wet season, but the rains kept me indoors more often.
  • Hurricane Risk: June to November brings hurricane risks, especially from August to October. Storms can disrupt travel plans.
Pro-tip: I’d recommend getting travel insurance covering hurricanes if visiting during storm season. It safeguards your investment if weather-related disruptions affect your trip.

High Tourist Season (Overcrowding)

During my trips to Jamaica in December through February, I noticed the island gets extremely busy during these peak winter months. If crowds and higher prices don’t appeal to you, here’s what I experienced:

High Tourist Season (Overcrowding)
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com
  • Peak Crowds: Hordes of sunseekers flock to Jamaica in the popular winter months. The beaches and attractions felt jam-packed, like seagulls swarming for crumbs.
  • Higher Prices: Since it was high season, I found prices for hotels, flights, and activities were significantly higher than at other times of year. Expect higher prices when you visit Jamaica during this period.
  • Congested Attractions: Crowds slowed things down in spots like Dunns River Falls. I had to wait in long lines to enter popular attractions.
  • Lacked Serenity: With the crowds and congestion, it was difficult to find serenity and relaxation during my winter trip.
  • Budget Buster: The overall experience during peak season was not budget-friendly. I’d recommend alternate dates if you want deals.

Worst Time to Visit Jamaica: 4 Things to Consider When Planning Your Trip

Visiting Jamaica is a dream, but timing your trip carefully is key to an enjoyable experience. Certain times of the year bring larger crowds, costly accommodations, and unfavorable weather conditions.

In this section, I’ll go over the worst times to visit Jamaica and provide 4 key considerations when planning your trip to avoid pitfalls. Now, let’s dive in.

1. Weather Patterns

I learned that Jamaica’s weather can be unpredictable, so checking forecasts for my specific destination was important. A big storm derailed a September trip, so I’d avoid those months because there is a risk of being affected by a hurricane or tropical storm.

Jamaica’s location in the Hurricane Belt means storms can bring high winds, rain, and disruptions. However, when planning trips, I researched my destination’s weather. Some areas, like Ocho Rios, are less rainy.

Weather Patterns
Note: Considering specific weather patterns instead of just the overall Jamaica climate helped me better plan activities and pack appropriately based on where I was visiting. Researching forecast specifics for my target location ensured I wasn’t caught off guard by any weather during my travels in Jamaica.

2. Budget Constraint

You should consider your budget when planning a trip to Jamaica. I’ve learned to factor budget into choosing my travel dates.

Peak and off-peak season
  • Peak season from December to April has more expensive prices;
  • While May to November has deals in the off-peak season.

During a January trip, everything was most expensive – flights, hotels, activities. But I got to experience perfect warm weather and lively holiday events. Traveling in September, costs were much lower even though the weather was riskier. I scored great discounts on accommodations and flights.

Note: I weigh the pros and cons of each time of year and what fits my budget. Peak season has ideal weather but costs more. Off-season has risks but saves money. Considering my budget constraints and whether I can splurge for peak season perfection or want to save with an off-season deal has helped me choose ideal times.

3. Events and Festivals

By factoring in Jamaica’s lively events when booking your travels, you will have an incredible cultural experience and find celebrations aligned with your interests. Considering Jamaica’s festival calendar while trip planning ensured I didn’t miss out on any events I wanted to experience.

Events and Festivals
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com
  • Reggae Sumfest: I visited during Reggae Sumfest in July and was blown away by the incredible music performances from local and international reggae artists. The energy and crowds were amazing.
  • Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations: Attending the Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations in February was a highlight. I joined concerts, viewed exhibits, and listened to great lectures to honor the music icon’s legacy.
  • Jamaican Carnival: The Jamaican Carnival in April was so lively and vibrant. I loved seeing the colorful, extravagant costumes and joining the pulsating street parties.
Bob Marley performed the ‘One Love Peace’ concert in Jamaica with the two different warring political sides. There’s always been that in black music and culture in general. It’s no surprise because black music is such a reflection of what’s going on in black life. It’s not unusual for hip-hop. Mos Def

4. Remaining Flexible and Cautious

It helps to keep my travel plans somewhat flexible when visiting Jamaica. Weather changes and unexpected events can pop up. For example, I had to adjust my itinerary when a tropical storm hit during my trip last October. Keeping plans fluid allowed me to work around it. Here are additional tips on what I usually do:

Remaining Flexible And Cautious
  • I make sure to purchase travel insurance that covers hurricanes or trip interruptions. It gives me peace of mind if bad weather strikes.
  • Even during the dry season, I check the weather forecast regularly and have a backup indoor activity planned just in case of rain.
  • When booking hotels, I look for flexible cancellation policies if a storm approaches and I must reschedule.
  • I only booked a few pre-paid excursions that could get canceled due to weather. I opt for day-of bookings instead.

When to Go Instead

So you know the worst times to visit Jamaica, but when exactly should you go instead for ideal weather, lower prices, and a great experience?

When to Go Instead

Here’s a quick rundown of the best time to visit Jamaica:

  • November to mid-December: Great weather during the dry season, comfortable temperatures, and little rain. Prices are lower than the winter peak.
  • Late April to Early June: Still dry with lush landscapes and fewer tourists. Costs are dropping after the winter peak season.
  • July, if not during Reggae Sumfest: Usually dry weather and summer deals between major festivals.
  • Late October if no storms: Hurricane season is winding down and transitioning to dry season.

Check out the video below on the best time to visit Jamaica.

Most Popular Areas to Stay in Jamaica

Based on my trips exploring Jamaica, I found each area has something unique to offer regarding culture, activities, and accommodations. Here are some of my impressions of the top places to stay:

Most Popular Areas to Stay in Jamaica
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com
  • Montego Bay: I loved the lively nightlife, shopping, and dining here. The airport also makes it very convenient to fly in. Luxury resorts dominate, but you can also find smaller hotels and guesthouses.
  • Negril: The famous Seven Mile Beach was gorgeous, with an ultra laid-back vibe focused on relaxation. Accommodations run the gamut from beachfront resorts to budget hotels and guesthouses off the beach.
  • Ocho Rios: As an adventure seeker, I enjoyed attractions like Dunn’s River Falls and Mystic Mountain ziplining. Mostly, larger resorts and hotels are clustered along the scenic coastline.
  • Kingston: As the capital, it gave me a dose of history and culture through its museums and theaters. Choices ranged from business hotels in the city to guesthouses in historic neighborhoods.
  • Runaway Bay: I found this area between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay peaceful and relaxing. All-inclusive resorts, especially golf resorts, dominated it.
  • Port Antonio: I loved exploring the lush Blue Mountains away from big crowds. Smaller boutique hotels and eco-lodges complement the laid-back vibe.

The diversity of regions ensures you can find the perfect locale in Jamaica to match your interests and preferences.

Hotel & Resort Recommendations for Jamaica

From luxurious beachfront escapes to historic retreats, each stay offers a unique blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural richness. Check out some of the accommodation options available in Jamaica.

  • GoldenEye (Oracabessa): GoldenEye in Oracabessa provided a unique and historic retreat. As the place where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond novels, the property offered exclusive villas and beach huts. The atmosphere was one of privacy and tranquility, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a distinctive and relaxing experience.
GoldenEye
Credit: www.booking.com
  • Half Moon, Montego Bay: I enjoyed staying at Half Moon in Montego Bay, a classic and prestigious resort. It truly lived up to its reputation with various accommodations, including a golf course, multiple restaurants, and diverse activities. The expansive grounds and excellent service added to the overall charm of the experience.
  • Sandals Resorts (Various Locations): Sandals Resorts, with its multiple all-inclusive properties across Jamaica, provides diverse atmospheres catering to couples. Each resort had unique features, offering a variety of amenities such as water sports and entertainment. The all-inclusive nature made for a convenient and enjoyable stay.
  • Jamaica Inn (Ocho Rios): The Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios was an elegant and intimate beachfront retreat. The timeless charm and attentive service were evident throughout my stay. The private balconies or verandas with stunning views added a layer of relaxation and luxury to the experience.
Jamaica Inn
Credit: www.booking.com
  • Couples Resorts (Various Locations): Couples Resorts focuses on providing an all-inclusive, romantic atmosphere for a delightful stay. The amenities and diverse offerings explicitly catered to couples, creating a memorable and intimate vacation experience. The multiple locations, including Negril and Ocho Rios, offered options for various preferences.
  • Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall (Montego Bay): My visit to Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, an all-inclusive, adults-only resort, was marked by modern design and upscale offerings. The resort provided a luxurious and enjoyable environment for adult travelers with multiple dining options, a spa, and beachfront access.
  • Catcha Falling Star (Negril): Catcha Falling Star in Negril stands out for its charming accommodations against expansive crystal clear blue waters. The intimate atmosphere and picturesque views make it a delightful choice for travelers seeking a serene and scenic retreat.
Catcha Falling Star
Credit: www.booking.com

Click the video link below to watch hotel recommendations in Jamaica,

FAQs

What months to avoid visiting Jamaica?

The worst months to visit Jamaica are from August to October, which fall within the Caribbean hurricane season. Hurricanes and tropical storms are most likely during this period.

What are the storm months in Jamaica?

Jamaica’s storm and hurricane season runs from June to November, with August to October typically seeing the highest chance of storms forming.

What is the busiest month to visit Jamaica?

The busiest and most popular month for visiting Jamaica is December. Other busy months are January through March, when temperatures are comfortable and drier.

What is the rainiest month in Jamaica?

On average, October sees the most rainfall in Jamaica, followed by May, which marks the beginning of the wet season.

What are the risks of visiting Jamaica during hurricane season?

Risks of visiting Jamaica in hurricane season include potential disruption from high winds, heavy rain, storm surges, and flooding if a hurricane directly impacts the island. Travel plans can be canceled or interrupted.

Conclusion

When considering the worst time to visit Jamaica, it’s clear certain periods should be avoided to maximize your vacation enjoyment. If you want to minimize risks from storms, heavy rain, and disrupted plans, steering clear of hurricane season in Jamaica and the wet months is recommended.

Visiting Jamaica between August and October puts you at risk of hurricanes, flooding, and other weather headaches. The rainy season also affects experiences with frequent downpours and clouds. Avoiding these worst times increases the odds of sunny skies and smooth sailing.

Choosing when to avoid Jamaica depends on your aversion to rain, storms, and crowds. By now, I hope the overview of hurricane season, wet weather patterns, and crowded events clarifies the higher-risk times.

Have you ever experienced unfavorable weather in Jamaica? Please share in the comments section.

Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

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